Virginia Tech got a test from a game Charleston Southern team, but managed to pull out a 75-66 victory in the North Charleston Coliseum on Monday night. The win moves the Hokies to 9-4 on the year, as they head into Sunday’s ACC opener at Duke.
The Hokies had four players score in double figures. A.D. Vassallo and Malcom Delaney paced Tech with 16 points apiece. It was an off night for Vassallo, who was just 5-of-16 from the field. However, he was 3-of-8 from three-point range and pulled down five rebounds while playing all 40 minutes.
Delaney was 5-of-11 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. He has not missed a free throw since the December 1 game against Wisconsin. Delaney also dished out a team-high six assists while committing just one turnover. He had to play all 40 minutes because backup point guard Hank Thorns is still out with a knee injury.
J.T. Thompson, playing in just his third game of the season, scored 15 points for the Hokies. He was 5-of-7 from the field, including several nice midrange jumpers. He also had two assists, two steals and no turnovers in 27 minutes of action.
Jeff Allen added 11 points and eight rebounds. Dorenzo Hudson had a solid night as well, scoring nine points on 4-of-8 shooting. Hudson also had two steals in 26 minutes. Terrell Bell played just 14 minutes as Hudson’s backup, and did not score.
The Hokies got off to a rough start in this one. Charleston Southern was led by 5-11 guard Jamarco Warren, perhaps the best player in the country you’ve never heard of. He came into the game averaging 21.5 points per game and shooting nearly 50% from the three-point line. He dropped 22 points on Tech and was 6-of-12 from beyond the arc.
Thanks to Warren’s efforts, the Buccaneers jumped out to a 20-13 lead at the 12:11 mark of the first half. The Hokies opened the game in man-to-man, but after Charleston Southern started out strong, Seth Greenberg went with a mixture of 2-3 and 1-3-1 zone looks. The adjustment propelled the Hokies on a 24-8 run to end the half. The Bucs scored just eight points over the final 12 minutes of the half, and A.D. Vassallo hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to send Tech into halftime with a 37-28 lead.
Despite the big run before the half, Tech couldn’t pull away in the second half. Charleston Southern stayed in the game behind the hot shooting of Warren, and cut the lead to one point on two occasions. However, the Hokies managed to answer each Buccaneer run.
Tech led 69-63 with 18 seconds left, and that’s when Charleston Southern started fouling. The Hokies hit all six of their free throws down the stretch and pulled away to a 75-66 victory.
Virginia Tech returns to action on Sunday when they take on the Duke Blue Devils in Durham. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:45pm, and the game will be televised by FSN. Check your local listings.